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Update: S.B. 11 EdChoice hearing in Columbus delayed until March 21

News of the Diocese

March 13, 2023

Update: S.B. 11 EdChoice hearing in Columbus delayed until March 21

A lot of energy and activity toward school choice is taking place at the state government level in Columbus and Frank O’Linn, superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Cleveland, is actively involved.

Senate Bill 11 -- the Parent Educational Freedom Act -- would expand eligibility for Educational Choice scholarships, also known as EdChoice, to all students beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. This would allow every Ohio student to be eligible for scholarships of up to $5,500 for students in grades K-8 and $7,500 for those in grades 9-12 to be used at any chartered non-public school that accepts EdChoice scholarships. It also would increase the amount of homeschooling expenses a taxpayer could claim as income tax credit each year from $250 to $2,000.

“This could be the biggest seismic shift in Ohio’s school choice landscape since the programs were first introduced, but it will require our sustained voice,” O’Linn said. “There is momentum among the senate, house and governor, but they all want to hear from their constituents to tell them we are in support.”

O'Linn said a hearing will take place before the Ohio Senate Education Committee on March 21 at the statehouse in Columbus. The hearing originally was set for March 14, but was delayed a week. Larry Keough of the Catholic Conference of Ohio – the statewide Catholic bishops’ conference – plans to testify for the bill as a representative of the Catholic bishops statewide.

O’Linn said the bill enables the state’s education funding formula “to support students where their parents want them to attend.” In addition, all local taxes still stay with the local public school district, even if there are fewer students to educate. “The scholarships are funded only by the state’s share of the funding formula, which is supported by all of our taxes,” he explained.

Additional proponents of S.B. 11 are needed, especially those willing to provide testimony in writing on March 21, O’Linn said. Written testimony can be submitted until March 20. Those who are interested in submitting testimony or speaking in person on behalf of the bill should contact Dene Hummon at for assistance.

"We also need people to contact their state senators and express their support for the bill," O'Linn said, noting it only takes a minute to do that online.

Here are some links for those interested in supporting the legislation.

O’Linn said there would be more opportunities to testify as school funding and school choice bills progress in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Click here for more information about S.B. 11.

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